When you first made your estate plan you likely made it a priority to describe how you wanted your children to be taken care of if something happened to you. You likely referred to someone that would take in your child and care for him or her as you would. You may have written down one of your siblings, your parents or a family friend that would take over raising your child in the event that you could not. As your children grow up, however, things may change.
Once your children become adults you may want to take the time to amend your Florida estate plan. For one thing, you may no longer need to include someone who will take in your child. In almost all instances, they will be able to take care of themselves, which means a few changes to your Florida estate planning will need to be made. Removing a minor child guardian or caregiver is only the first part of the process.
The second thing you may want to do is name your child as a beneficiary in your estate plan. You still want to make sure your child is taken care of if something happens to you. As they get older, however, you are going to want to take care of them in different ways. Instead of providing a caregiver for them you may want to provide them with financial support in the form of an inheritance. Remember, they do not need to inherit everything at 18 and your estate planning attorney can provide critical guidance on this issue.
You may also want to leave them specific items that are important to you or them. This could be any number of items or any amount of money. In most states there are very few rules regarding what you are allowed to leave to your children. That means you have the ability to leave them anything you like or even everything that you own (subject to limitations if you are married and do not have a pre- or post-nuptial agreement that permits this).
Talking with your experienced estate planning attorney about the situation is the first thing you need to do. This means as soon as one of your children turns 18 years old you will want to approach your attorney about making some changes. By the time your youngest child has reached the age of majority, you may need to make even more changes. This planning forward can make sure each of them will have everything they need in case you are no longer able to provide for them.
Do you have questions on where to start? We encourage you to contact us to set up a Florida estate plan and or work on updating your estate plan. We look forward to scheduling an appointment for you.